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Backache is one of the most common symptoms of ill-health. Up to 75 percent of adults suffer from backache or back pain at some time, but only ten percent of that is actually caused by an underlying illness.

What to look for
The symptoms vary, but there may be muscle spasm, with pain shooting down the legs. Lower back pain is common as is knotting in the upper back and shoulders.

Backache is usually caused by muscles in the back becoming over-strained or injured in some way. Back pain may be caused by a mechanical disorder affecting one of the structures in or around the spine. Pain may be caused by damage to the ligaments, muscles or one of the small vertebral joints or discs. These discs, located between each of the vertebrae in the back, contain a central gelatinous core surrounded by a fibrous ring. With age or injury, the discs can rupture, causing the contents to spill out and press on the nerves that radiate from the spinal cord. This can then lead to referred pain, as in sciatica, which is felt in the area of the back that is supplied by the nerve. The most common causes of backache include: Bone Structure Abnormalities, Poor muscle tone and posture, Obesity, Pregnancy, and Stress and Depression.

When to seek further professional advice
If you have severe backache you should consult your doctor. (See Traditional Treatment)

Alternative Treatment

Alexander Technique: can be very effective in dealing with musculo-skeletal problems.
Acupuncture: Treatment is often extremely effective in producing lasting benefit in cases of backache or pain. The treatment aims to reduce spasm and inflammation and promote healing by treating the underlying energy imbalances.
Other therapies include: Rolfing, Massage, Hellerwork, Yoga, Aromatherapy, and Reflexology.

Traditional Treatment

Most cases of minor backache go in a few days with rest and/or painkillers. Rest will be necessary in the acute stage, although prolonged bed rest is not helpful. Painkillers such as paracetamol may work or NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may be given. Muscle relaxants may be given if the problem muscular spasm. Physiotherapy may be offered, and manipulation by osteopaths or chiropractors may also be suggested. Weight loss and appropriate exercise may be useful.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-17